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Parmanu row: John Abraham's production house denies allegations by KriArj Entertainment

The makers of Parmanu put out another statement accusing co-producers KriArj Entertainment of delay in payment and spreading lies.

Mayur Lookhar

A war has broken out between John Abraham's production company JA Entertainment and KriArj Entertainment, which has jeopardized the release of the film Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran.

JA Entertainment, owned by Parmanu lead actor John, had sent out a statement saying it had terminated its contract with KriArj Entertainment, while the latter company's statement said it holds all legal rights to the film.

Zee Studios is also a co-producer holding overseas, theatrical, digital, satellite and music rights of the film.

JA Entertainment has now issued a new statement denying the allegations by KriArj Entertainment and blaming it for delaying payments, providing wrong UTR (Unique Transaction Reference) numbers, and spreading lies in the media.

JA Entertainment insisted that the termination of its contract was legal.

“Termination of the agreement by us is valid and legal..KriArj has committed material breaches which left us with no choice but to terminate in the interest of the film. We would like to state that this extreme step has been taken by us after days of trying to resolve the issues at hand in the best interest of the release of the film (sic),” JA Entertainment said in the statement.

“We have fulfilled our commitment at every stage of this project and intimated KriArj in writing from time to time. We have been waiting and asking for payments at every stage. Our payments have either been delayed or we have received wrong UTR number. Cheque payments have been stopped time and again. Delay in payments / non-payments have caused delays in the post-production work after the film's principal shoot was completed in time and on schedule last year (sic)," the JA Entertainment statement said.

In its statement, KriArj had hit out at JA Entertainment for delaying the marketing plan. JA Entertainment denied the charge and accused KriArj of not sharing the distribution plan.

“Despite repeated follow-up, the distribution plan for the film has not been shared and there has been no transparency in their dealings with third parties," the JA statement said.

"We have till date not been privy to any signed contracts of third parties with KriArj, if any. JA Entertainment has time and again sat on the marketing campaign and the dates have been pushed at least three times, thanks to delayed payments.

"Not only that, KriArj without our approval has gone out and made statements giving false reasons for the delay (sic).”

Interestingly, without naming the film, JA Entertainment pointed out similar issues that KriArj has been facing with another under-production film Kedarnath. KriArj Entertainment had a feud with Kedarnath director Abhishek Kapoor.

“Our repeated follow-ups have only been met with false promises to settle the issue, thus wasting crucial time on the project," JA Entertainment said. "The industry knows of the track record of KriArj. There has been a similar incident in the past with another film where they have done the same thing.”

Parmanu has been long delayed. First it was set to be released on 1 December, but that date was initially locked by Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Padmavaat (which eventually was released on 26 January 2018). Parmanu was delayed a couple of times more, and now it is rumoured to be eyeing an 11 May release.

Efforts to contact KriArj Entertainment co-founder Prernaa Arora and John Abraham yielded no response.